Thursday, October 4, 2012

Fund this? Crowdfunding comments and samples

The number one impediment to a successful crowd funding campaign is lack of exposure. Not enough willing contributors find out about it. I am a crowd funding donor and recipient. As such, here are a few comments on my experiences and a few projects that I saw on crowd funding sites that I think more people should be made aware of. I know you can't contribute to every interesting campaign, neither can I, but we all can spread the word a little bit better, and ask others to do the same so these projects find a large enough pool of contributors to succeed.

Some people may think that the popularity of crowdfunding sites over the internet has made getting funding for a project, a social cause or sudden need brought on by personal tragedy a cinch. Not so! In fact most projects on Kickstarter, Indiegogo, or any of the other sites fail to reach their target; many fail to raise any money at all.

My Experiences: 

My own experience is fairly typical. I first created an Indiegogo campaign in June to raise funds for the marketing and distribution of my new four book series Socialite 1. I am very grateful to all those who participated and supported the campaign. I followed the advice on the site, told family and friends, used Facebook, Twitter, Reddit etc. I had excellent perks for donors. Nevertheless, at the end of the campaign I received less than 10% of my goal.

My campaign ran on Indiegogo, which allows flexible funding, so I did get to keep the money that was contributed. The many people who use Kickstarter and don't reach their funding goal, get nothing. Kickstarter only pays out when the goal has been reached. I feel bad for them. Not all of them: some projects are just weird.

I just started a second campaign to raise funds to publish another book. I am running it as a contest: I am writing two books (shown in the image above) and I will decide which one to finish and publish first based on the donations by readers who prefer either Mystery or Science Fiction.  I hope that by giving people a say into the publication of a new book, the campaign may get more exposure than my previous one.

This campaign is at Indiegogo. (Creating a campaign on Kickstarter is not an option for non-US citizens). I am also trying a new crowdfunding platform called GoFundMe. These two platforms are similar in that they allow people to donate to projects and causes. They are different in a number of important aspects for those running a campaign. Firstly, Indiegogo requires that a minimum of $500 must be donated with the first two weeks of the campaign or else the campaign will never be included in their search results, shown on their homepage or get any exposure to their crowdfunding community. My first attempt at crowdfunding missed the mark, so my campaign never really got off the ground. By day 15, I couldn't even find it on their site.

GoFundMe on the other hand requires that $100 be raised prior to them listing it on their site and making it available to searches. They don't put a time limit on campaigns either, so your cause isn't dead after two weeks if you don't get $100.

So I am trying both and will post updates on their progress over time.

Other interesting campaigns:

I don't believe we should ever ask for something without giving something back when we can. As I said I can't give to every campaign that I like, but I can give them a little more exposure. So here are a few campaigns that I like. Note, I don't have any connection to these campaigns, and have never met any of the people running them. I just like what they are trying to do.

The first one is a blues band from Chicago: I like their bluesy sound, and the perks they offer are reasonable - only $10 helps them out and gets you a copy of their debut CD. Awesome! Here is the link:


The second campaign was for a book. I liked the concept of the story: time travel becomes possible but people are allergic to it. There are lots of ways the story could go that would be interesting. The author generously gave donors a copy of the ebook too. This campaign was at Indiegogo, but it expired there before the author reached the target. I'm putting it here so anyone who likes the concept can watch for the book, or email the author for a copy. I am also including this book because I'm sure the author still wants people to know about her hard work. 
Here's the link:

(update: I just learned that the author has another campaign running to fund editing. Here is the link: Editing Allergic to Time.)

The third and final one comes from Kickstarter and is for a Mentalist in Utah to fund promotion of his first stage show. I think his pitch is kind of cool, and I love the TV show the Mentalist. Also, one of the books in my campaign involves a mystic/medium so I have done a lot of research on this form of entertainment. If you think it's cool, then tell other people, and perhaps send a donation to that campaign.
Here is the link:



There are a ton of interesting projects out there. Perhaps I'll share some more in a future post.

Once again, here are the links for my campaign.

If you can't contribute with a donation, no problem.  I hope you will please share this post, or even just the link to one or all of these campaigns.


  1. Thanks for your comments on my reddit post about trying to find backers. Here is the link to my kickstarter: Only 18 days left.

    I dig your idea of a contest for donors. I'm going to check out your projects and future ones.

  2. Your campaign looks interesting and I disagree with the redditor who said your site was confusing (asking for $400 or $1000). That person didn't realize that Kickstarter won't give you anything if you don't meet the goal - so setting the goal at low level is smart. Good luck with the film festivals. Watch on Monday - I will try to have a new post out then, and definitely include your campaign.


Thank you for your comments.